Wednesday, November 26, 2008

NYC Through an "Adult's" Eyes

I did it, I G.D. did it! I visited NYC this past weekend and managed to not get completely and utterly...okay, stop that thought. Full stop. I managed to do a good job of balancing nightlife and sightseeing. The secret to my success? I convinced my fellow troopin' traveler, Kristen (you'll know her as the ever elusive Skiddies), to pony up and get a hotel room for one of the nights that we were in town. After a couple of weak attempts at searching for a hotel through and, we ended up with the cheapest, non-hostel, midtown Manhattan hotel we could find: The Hotel Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, I left the task of actually making a decision up to Skiddies, and she neglected traveling rule #22: look at the online review before booking a hotel. With the hotel already booked, we immediately noticed the rating was a measly 1.7 out of 6.Boo, Skiddies, Boo. And of course, the room could not be cancelled. Rule #36, be aware of online cancellation policies before you book, not all sites have a 24 hour policy. Well, it was only going to be one night, and there wasn't any mention of rats in the reviews, so we decided to just go cheap, and TROOP-UP!

I will officially report that my faith in online reviews has been shaken. The Hotel Pennsylvania wasn't nearly as big of a dump as the reviews claimed. It was totally acceptable for anyone who needs a place to crash. Central location right across from Madison Square Garden, felt safe, flexible check in (we dumped our bags off before 1pm), and friendly enough staff (they checked us in). Lesson learned: take some time to critique online hotel reviews. Read between the lines.

Beyond the hotel, we hit up some great tourist destinations. The top of the Empire State Building:

Yay! View! Burr! Cold!

Skiddies Lives!

Afterwards we walked and walked all the way down to visit the hipsters on St. Mark's St in the East Village. Checking out the farmers market in Union Square on the way. Got some Urban Outfitter style clothing for Kmart prices on Broadway (stay South of Houston) - Amsterdam Clothing Store on Broadway was addictive - 10% off when you spend over $100 - oops/wahoo!

I really feels like you can walk anywhere in this town. It allows you to earn all those beers and late night mac 'n cheese - might have been the booze, but P.J. Clarke's is open until 4am, and theirs is MAC-tastic.


Davidlind said...

You are really traveling. If you have a moment to share your general direction and final destination I will post it on my blog so others can follow your journey.

Molly said...

Hey David!

Been mostly re-telling tales from past trips, but have been lucky enough to take some shorter trips over the last months. Heading down to Mexico this Thursday...planning on Peru and Ireland in 2009.